Rowan is four months old now, and she's starting to develop a schedule. She isn't rigid, but she often takes a morning nap, and sometimes takes an afternoon nap. She likes to go to bed around the same time and wake up around the same time, playing by herself for a few minutes in her crib every morning and greeting me with a grin and a giggle. And knock on wood, she's sleeping through the night. (She won't tonight, because I said that.) I can go out and do errands, but only after the morning nap, and not every day.
When she was little, we'd often strap her in the carseat, go out for dinner, and she'd be great. We could head out late, enjoy our supper, and she'd sleep away, charming the waiters and other restaurant patrons with how good she was.
Dr. B was determined that our child would be different. She'd grow up with our lifestyle, and would naturally take to it. She wouldn't be like other kids, and force her parents to do her bidding. She'd eat artichoke hearts and camembert sandwiches, eschew chicken nuggets and mac'n'cheese, and would behave herself perfectly well in the most trendy/snotty/fancy/of-the-moment restaurants while we leisurely enjoyed a glass of wine and rosemary goat cheese wontons with thai curry lingonberry chutney*.
Last night, Dr. B got home rather late from work. He had a very important phone call with a very important group about a new project that he and a colleague want to try that day, and he had been very nervous about it. The call went well, and he wanted to celebrate. Since he knew I had run errands during the day and taken Lucy for a long walk, he offered to take me out to dinner. But, by the time he got home and we were ready to go, it was 8 PM. And Rowan wasn't having any of it.
We diapered her, put her in her jammies, and strapped her into the car seat. That's when the trouble started. Before we could snap the buckles, she was wailing. Dr. B was not about to be told what to do by a 17 week old baby. He grabbed the car seat, and walked out the door. As I picked up the diaper bag and began to follow him, the tears started. Dr. B stomped to the gate, and then stomped back when I asked him to lock the door to the house. By the time we clicked her into the base in the car, she was going full force. Bloody murder screaming.
Determined, Dr. B set his jaw and put the car in gear. "I'll feed her at the restaurant," I offered. "The place is close, right?"
More screaming from the back seat.
"I'm sorry, Honey. It's just late. She wants to be home, going to bed."
"She can sleep in her car seat. She'll be fine," he said.
"You tell her that."
We stopped at the end of the drive, and Dr. B sighed. We listened to her scream for a few minutes more, and I turned to look at him. "We can go, honey," I said. "There aren't any cars coming."
He sighed deeply. "I'll take you back, and go get the pizza and bring it home," he said, angry but defeated.
As soon as Rowan's car seat was picked up, she stopped crying. As I unstrapped her, she sighed with relief. She ate slowly as if savoring her meal, and muttered not a peep when I layed her down in her crib, even though her mobile was out of batteries and she had to make due with just the womb bear and a soothie.
Dr. B came home just as I walked back down the stairs, loaded down with spicy stuffed banana peppers, BBQ chicken pizza, wine, and yogurt and coffee (the things I had forgotten at the store.)
"You were right," he said as he poured me a glass of wine. "I pushed it and it didn't work, it wasn't fair. To either of you."
"You can reason with just about anyone," I answered, "except a 4 month old baby. There's no messing with her."
Bring on the chicken nuggets.
*I made this up. Sounds gross, doesn't it?